Today we start our annual 12 Saves of Christmas blog series, where we count down 12 memorable adoption stories from of the year. While every adoption is a celebration at the ARLGP, our 12 Saves of Christmas provides our team with an opportunity to reflect on the hard work and dedication it takes to help more than 4,000 animals every year. We poll our team to find the special 12 (or in this year’s case, special 17) and celebrate all we have accomplished for so many animals in need.
At spot #12, we celebrate the kitty duo Raphael & PJ (now Blaze and Panther).
At the ARLGP we work tirelessly to help animals in our community and across the state of Maine. When we are able and have the space available, we also work with rescue groups and shelters all across the country who are overwhelmed with animals and in need of a helping paw.
Two of the feline groups we work with are based in North Carolina and New York. Each group visited us with felines in need this summer. Raphael came to the ARLGP in June from New York. PJ arrived from NC in August. Both boys are FIV+, an immunodeficiency virus found in felines that is non life-threatening and is generally non-symptomatic. FIV+ kitties lead normal, healthy lives. However, FIV+ cats in shelters in NY and NC may not have the chance of a new home like they do in our community. There are so many cats in need of homes in those shelters that special needs kitties are often overlooked. Knowing both were FIV+, we happily welcomed them to the ARLGP and knew we would find wonderful homes for them in our community.
Now, these boys had obviously never met before. But, as soon as we put them in the same room at the ARLGP they instantly bonded. We send bonded pairs home regularly here, and are generally animals that have lived together the majority of their life. But for Raphael and PJ, we saw the instant connection and were committed to rehoming them together. They were clearly best friends for life now!
Kaleigh and Josh, a local couple, had been stopping into the ARLGP for quite some time looking for a new feline companion. They had a commitment to welcoming a special needs kitty into their home and family, but hadn’t quite found the right one. After many visits spanning months, one of our adoption counselors, Molly, recommended they visit with Raphael and PJ for a bit. Molly explained their story, how they had come from different shelters out-of-state, and had an instant connection.
Like PJ and Raphael’s connection, Kaleigh and Josh also had an instant love. And as Kaleigh says, the rest was history…
“PJ (now Blaze, the monster machine) and Raphael (now Panther) are quite the characters. It took Panther more time to warm up to us and he still is a bit timid around our kiddos but he enjoys hanging out on top of the fridge or sitting on top of the toilet seat. Blaze has made himself right at home and his favorite spot is whatever bed is free. They are very vocal boys when it comes to feeding time! We are looking forward to them spending Christmas with us. They might have the most gifts under the tree! We thank you guys; they have been a great addition to complete our family.”
We wish Kaleigh, Josh, Blaze and Panther the happiest of holidays together. We thank them for opening their heart and home to these special boys, and we can’t wait to hear more updates as they continue to settle in and soak up the love in their new home.